The Rev. Rick Warren’s invocation might have featured the full Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that best cuts across many Christian denominations, but for those listening closely, it also included clear hat-tips to Judaism and Islam. The references came right up top, six lines into Warren’s invocation:
The Scripture tells us, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.
The first half of that paragraph—Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One—is the Shema, the most important prayer in Judaism. Many Jews recited it on the way to their deaths during the Holocaust.
The second half of that paragraph—”You are the compassionate and merciful one”—echoes the opening of all but one chapter of the Koran. Those chapters begin Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem, which translates into, “In the name of [God], the most compassionate, the most merciful.” (MORE)